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The Project


Newspaper scanning production
Newspaper scanning production process

With rapidly changing formats and the widening distribution of news media, tracking the history of provincial news publications has reached a critical juncture.

The New Brunswick Historical Newspapers Project’s goal is to centralize all known information and holdings of newspapers published in New Brunswick from the earliest publication of the Royal St. John's Gazette and Nova Scotia Intelligencer in 1783 to present day.  This project is a collaboration between the Council of New Brunswick Archives, the Provincial Archives of New Brunswick, and UNB Libraries, with the support of many libraries and archives across the province. We aim to reinvigorate the New Brunswick Newspaper Directory, originally based upon the 1996 book by Helen Craig, and the subsequent database hosted online by the Provincial Archives of New Brunswick and bring it up to date.  Data on newspaper holdings in all formats—hard copy/ print, microform, and digital—will be collected and staged on the New Brunswick Historical Newspapers Project website, hosted by UNB Libraries.

The New Brunswick Newspapers Project website, built on the 2019 “Newspapers @ UNB Libraries” platform, indexes all non-New Brunswick Microforms Collections holdings of UNB Libraries. In addition, the website hosts many New Brunswick titles digitized by UNB Libraries’ Centre for Digital Scholarship. These were produced from print and have full text search capabilities through optical character recognition (OCR). The digitization initiative of preserving and making accessible historical New Brunswick newspapers— beginning in 2011 and ongoing—was conceived to preserve and make accessible newspapers that had been collected by UNB Libraries over many decades.

In its final version, the New Brunswick Newspapers Project site will be a central hub for all those wishing to locate, access, and search New Brunswick newspapers for research, curiosity, and reference purposes.

Digitization at UNB Libraries

The original New Brunswick Historical Newspapers project was conceived as a way to preserve and make accessible historical New Brunswick papers that had been collected by UNB Libraries over many decades. The large amount of work and “ingestion” phase of print material was completed over two years, 2012 and 2013, as a collaboration between the Centre for Digital Scholarship (then called the Electronic Text Centre) and the Microforms Department (now part of Archives & Special Collections).  Work ramped up over the summers of 2012 and 2013. During this time period, dedicated student assistants were hired, as well as pulling in all students working in UNB Libraries to contribute to the preparation work for the project.

Quality control and image manipluation of newspaper scans.
Quality control and image manipluation of newspaper scans.

Detailed information was recorded on the issues of newspapers digitized, including numeration (or lack of issue and volume numbers), page count, size of pages, title changes, possible missing issues, publishers, editors, condition for each calendar year of the titles. This was to ensure any issues on the hard copy were recorded to demonstrate the digital copy was as high quality as possible. As well, newspapers were conserved to enable the production of the best quality image possible.

Intensive, background research was required to determine what newspapers met the criteria to be digitized, historical publication information, where additional issues could be located to fill in runs, and generally amassed data on the titles found in the hard copy newspaper collection.  Other organizations kindly lent issues of papers to fill in runs, including the New Brunswick Aboriginal Peoples Council and Legislative Library of New Brunswick (Mal-a-Mic), NB Military Heritage Museum on Base Gagetown (Post Gazette), Moncton Public Library (Riverview This Week), UPEI Archives (Gigmanag), and Doaktown Public Library (Miramichi Headwaters).

Two Indigenous papers were specifically targeted for digitization: Mal-A-Mic and Gigmanag (Prince Edward Island).  The Quoddy Tides (published in Eastport, Maine) was also digitized because of the community’s close link with New Brunswick.

Digitization began in the basement of the Harriet Irving Library in 2011, employing only a few student assistants on a part-time basis using an Atiz Bookdrive Pro.  In 2012, a second Atiz station was acquired and both were soon moved to a new imaging lab on the 5th floor of the HIL.  The full efforts persisted for two years, and the bulk of the scanning for this phase of the project was completed by the end of 2014.

Shortly afterward, UNB Libraries was contracted to digitize from microfilm more than a century's worth of three of New Brunswick's major daily newspapers: The Daily Gleaner, The Telegraph Journal, and the Moncton Times & Transcript (digital access available to subscribers, and onsite at the University of New Brunswick, Saint John Free Public Library, and the Provincial Archives of New Brunswick). This partnership further extended our digitization capability with the acquisition of a nextScan Eclipse microfilm scanner. 

In 2019, “Newspapers @ UNB Libraries” was launched by UNB Libraries. The platform includes the digital issues of New Brunswick Historical Newspapers, a comprehensive listing of microformat newspapers held at UNB Libraries, and current, hard copy newspaper titles.

To date, well over 3 million pages of historical newsprint have been digitized by UNB Libraries through the efforts of staff (including the many student assistants) from the Centre for Digital Scholarship, Microforms, and Library Systems, as well as partners at the Provincial Archives of New Brunswick. Collaborations with the greater New Brunswick library and archives community will help ensure that this unique digital collection continues to grow and expand for years to come.

Contact Us

We appreciate your interest in this project and we would be happy to hear from you

If you need to report additional information or errors about a particular title in our collection, use the button found on the publication page of each title. This will help identify the exact title you are writing about. Report errors button example

Questions regarding access to non-digital holdings and reference questions should be directed to the holding institution found in the "? Info" link on the holdings statement.